Unofficial Ballot Drop Box Appears In Front Of Baptist Church in Castaic

Picture of unofficial ballot box outside of Freedom’s Way Baptist Church. (Image via KCAL9)

Mail-in ballot voting is the main go-to way of voting this year, but many criticize its “inefficient” way of electing people into office due to ways it can be manipulated. Social media users have spotted examples of said misleading acts, such as an unofficial ballot box posted outside a church in southern California.

What We Know:

  • Pastor Jerry Cook posted the photo on Facebook with the caption “Our church has a voting drop box in front of our complex — if you are voting early, drop your ballot on by”. The image showed a grey metal container with a sheet of paper on it saying “Official Ballot Drop Box” outside of Freedom’s Way Baptist Church.
  • It was reported that many residents have contacted the L.A. County Recorder/Registrar’s office over the matter. A recent social media post responding to the circling image warned, “This is not an official vote by mail dropbox and does not comply with [state] regulations for drop boxes”. Official California ballot boxes can be found in their most recent tweet below.

  • According to told KCAL9, the registrar’s office stated they attempted to reach Pastor Cook and to issue a cease and desist letter, but the dropbox disappeared since then. Other posts on the church’s website show content such as a forum hosted for local Republican candidates and criticism over the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM). Other locals were also skeptical of the church’s intentions with the unofficial ballot box.
  • The incident at this church isn’t the first time unofficial boxes have popped up in the region. State officials are now hunting down fake ballot boxes allegedly placed by Republicans in LA, Orange, and Fresno counties. Cease-and-desist letters are also being sent out to the California Republican Party and other local GOP groups to order their removal, according to Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

“These boxes are not the same as county election drop boxes that are required to meet state security standards as well as other regulations,” Padilla stated in a press conference on Monday.

  • “Unauthorized, unofficial drop boxes are not permitted by state law and to misrepresent these boxes further misleads voters and erodes the public trust,” he continued.
  • A spokesman for the California Republican Party cited a “2016 state law” where anyone can collect ballots with containers such as the metal filing cabinet found at the church. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra disproved that claim and explained that anyone who does this “are subject to prosecution for engaging in activities that are against the law in the state of California”.

There are roughly 400 mail ballot drop boxes around LA County and they can be found at These fraudulent boxes come at a time where nearly 21 million Californians have received mail-in ballots and skepticism about postal service reliability is at an all-time high. With the election drawing close, the proper procedure is now more important than ever.